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From the Peanut Gallery, at the Faegre BD Summit



Not all the action was on stage at the Faegre Baker Daniels Franchise Summit Aug. 1. Lani Dolifka, CEO of Watermill Express, raced over to introduce herself to Roark Capital’s Steve Romaniello right after his keynote address.

She’s in a push to aggressively expand her system, which places water-dispensing kiosks in parking lots and other community gathering spots, and perhaps she was inspired by the introduction of Romaniello by Faegre’s Brian Schnell. “We’ll call this session, When I grow my system big enough, I want to be acquired by Roark Capital.”

Meanwhile, Katrina Mitchell was handing out buttons that proclaimed “No Divas.” She’s the founder of Speak!, which supplies speakers for events including this one. Mitchell said she made up the buttons soon after starting the company, after one of her speakers proved annoyingly demanding to a client and she vowed never again.

And finally, not all brands have as much worldwide dominance as others. Bill Edwards of Edwards Global Services, one of the event sponsors, gave a short talk about how he advises clients interested in international expansion. “Any country with more than 4 percent growth is good for investment,” he says, and then went on to name the services and products most in demand.

“The No. 1 type of franchise we see people want in other countries is home care/senior care,” he said, and someone in the audience, presumably in that space, let out a “woo-hoo.”

“No. 2 is children,” he said, to another cheer from the opposite side of the room. “No. 3 is food and beverage.”

And then Paul Pickett, vice president of franchising for Wild Birds Unlimited, turned to his neighbors in mock outrage. “I can’t believe that bird-feeding isn’t on that list,” he said. “I demand the world require bird-feeding.”

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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